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January 14, 2010



DiNapoli Audits Help Protect Taxpayer Money & Assets

Follow-up Reviews Find 15 School Districts Statewide Collectively Implemented 82 Percent of Comptroller's Audit Recommendations

The first 15 school district follow-up reviews conducted across the state found the districts collectively implemented 82 percent of the recommendations the State Comptroller's office included in its audits of the districts, according to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The school districts were previously audited by DiNapoli's office and auditors went back to the districts to see if they implemented state auditors' recommendations to better protect taxpayer dollars and assets.

"My office has completed audits of virtually all school districts and BOCES across the state," DiNapoli said. "Taxpayers have a right to know if their local school districts took action to address concerns identified by our audits so we are revisiting some of these districts.

"My office's first 15 follow-up reviews found school districts are taking the audits' recommendations for fiscal prudence seriously and have implemented the majority of the audits' recommended steps to better protect taxpayer dollars. Following up on these audits increases accountability of school districts and adds transparency to school districts' finances."

DiNapoli's auditors found five school districts implemented all of the recommendations in the audits of the districts. These districts are Brockport CSD, Hauppaugue UFSD, Jericho UFSD, Margaretville CSD and Sewanhaka CSD. An additional five districts fully implemented or partially implemented more than 80 percent of the audits' recommendations. These districts are Brentwood UFSD, Nanuet UFSD, Seaford UFSD, Vestal CSD and Warsaw CSD.

Commack UFSD and Haverstraw-Stony Point CSD each implemented 75 percent and 78 percent of the recommendations respectively. Two school districts – Valhalla UFSD and Canajoharie CSD – implemented 64 percent and 67 percent of the recommendations respectively. Penn Yan CSD was the only school district to implement none of the audit recommendations.

DiNapoli's office has 22 additional follow-up reviews of school districts currently underway.

To view each district's follow-up review and audit, click the links in the chart below.

School District Follow-Up Reviews Completed

Follow-Up Reviews

Audit Released

Previous Audit Findings

County

Brentwood UFSD

2006

Failed to establish critical internal controls

Suffolk

Brockport CSD

2007

Weaknesses in controls over credit card purchases

Monroe

Canajoharie CSD

2006

Weaknesses in inventory procedures for electronic equipment; missing electronic equipment

Montgomery

Commack UFSD

2007

Lack of oversight for administrator expense accounts; failed to follow General Municipal Law when awarding contracts

Suffolk

Hauppauge UFSD

2007

Better financial oversight could have reduced tax levy by $1 million; inaccurate financial information

Suffolk

Haverstraw-Stony Point CSD

2007

Improper accounting for a capital project; weaknesses in overtime procedures, purchases and claims auditing

Rockland

Jericho UFSD

2007

Lack of documentation to support thousands of dollars in credit card purchases; board did not approve car lease for superintendent; weaknesses in handling of cash receipts and disbursements

Nassau

Margaretville CSD

2008

Did not properly segregate cash receipt and disbursement duties; did not comply with procurement policy

Delaware

Nanuet UFSD

2007

Questionable overtime costs and overpayments to employees

Rockland

Penn Yan CSD

2006

Inadequate monitoring of budget status reports; paid $8,000 in credit card purchases without following proper procedures; incomplete capital asset inventory records

Yates

Seaford UFSD

2006

Poor financial management practices

Nassau

Sewanhaka Central High SD

2007

$1.8 million in professional service contracts awarded without competition; lacked a computer security policy

Nassau

Valhalla UFSD

2008

Spent $456,400 contrary to grant requirements and $38,500 more than necessary in life insurance premiums

Westchester

Vestal CSD -
Internal Controls;
Energy Conservation


2008;
2008

$15,305 in questionable spending and inappropriate use of computers; could save $26,000 by shutting down computers at night

Broome

Warsaw CSD

2006

Insufficient oversight of extra-classroom activity funds; to maintain adequate inventory records of its capital assets

Wyoming

School District Accountability
In order to improve accountability of the state’s schools, DiNapoli’s office will audit all of New York’s school districts and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services by 2010. The State Comptroller’s office has completed 725 school audits and approximately six school audits are currently underway.

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